Imatges de pàgina

Next your Son gone, and he most violent author
Of his own just remove; the people muddied,
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whispers;
For good Polonius' death; (We've done but greenly,
In private to inter him ;) poor Ophelia,
Divided from herself, and her fair judgment;
(Without the which we're pictures, or mere beafts :)
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Her brother is in secret come from France :
Feeds on this wonder, keeps himself in clouds,
And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
With peftilent speeches of his father's death;
Wherein neceffity, of matter beggar'd,
Will nothing stick our persons to arraign
In ear and ear. 0

my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murdering piece, in many places
Give me superflaous death! [A noise within
Queen. Alack! what noise is this?

Enter a Mepenger. King. Where are my Switzers ? let them guard the What is the matter?

[door. Mes. Save yourself, my Lord. The ocean, over-peering of his lift, Eats not the flats with more impetuous hafte, Than young Laertes, in a riotous head, O'er-bears your officers; the rabble call him Lord'; And as the world were now but to begin, Antiquity forgot, custom not known, The ratifiers and props of every Ward; (65)

(60) The rarifiers and props of ev'ry word ;] The whole tenour of the context is sufficient to thew, that this is a mistaken reading. What can antiquity and custom, being the props of words, have to do with the business in hand ? Or what idea is conveyed by it ? Certainly, the Poet wrote;

The ratifiers and props of ev'ry ward; The messenger is complaining, that the riotous head had over-born the King's officers; and then fubjoins, that antiquity and custom were forgot, which were the ratifiers and props of every ward; i: e. of every one of those securities that nature and law place about the person of a King. All this is rational and consequential.

Mr. Warburtox.


They cry, “Chuse we Laertes for our King."
Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the Clouds;

Laertes shall be King, Laertes King !"

Queen. How chearfully on the false trail they cry! Oh, this is counter, you falfe Danish dogs.

Noise within. Enter Laertes, with a Party at the Door. King. The doors are broke. Laer. Where is this King? Sirs! Stand you all withAll. No, let's come in.

[out. Laer. I pray you, give me leave, All. We will, we will.

[Exeunt. Laer. I thank you; keep the door, O thou vile King, give me my father. Queen. Calmly, good Laertes.

[bastard ; Laer, That drop of blood that's calm, proclaims me Cries cuckold to my father ; brands the harlot Ev’n here, between the chaste and unsmirch'd brow Of my true mother.

King. What is the cause, Laertes, That thy Rebellion looks fo giant-like? Let him go, Gertrude ; do not fear our person: There's such divinity doth hedge a King, That treason can but peep to what it would, Acts little of its will. Tell me, Laertes, Why are you thus incens'd? Let him Gertrude. Speak, man: Laer. Where is my father? King. Dead. Queen. But not by him. King. Let him demand his fill.

Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with; To hell, allegianoe! vows, to the blackest devil! (61)



(61) To bell, allegiance ! vows, to tbe blackest devil! ) Laertes is a good character; but he is here in actual rebellion. Left, therefore, this character !hould seem to sanctify rebellion, instead of putting into his mouth a reasonable defence of his proceedings, such as the right the subject has of shaking off oppression, the usurpation, and


Conscience and grace, to the profoundeft pit !
I dare damnation ; to this point I stand,
That both the worlds I give to negligence,
Let come, what comes ; only I'll be reveng'd
Most throughly for my father.

King. Who shall stay you ?
Laer, My will, not all the world ;
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go far with little.

King. Good Laertes. If you desire to know the certainty of your dear father, is't writ in your revenge, (That sweep-stake) you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and loser?

Laer. None but his enemies.
King. Will you know them then?

Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms,
And, like the kind life-rend 'ring pelican,
Repaft them with my blood.

King. Why, now you speak
Like a good child, and a true gentleman.
That I am guiltless of your father's death,
And am moft fenable in grief for it,
It shall as level to your judgment pierce, [come in."
As day does to your eye. A noise within.)" Let her

Laer. How now, what noise is that?
Enter Ophelia, fantastically dreft with firaws and flowers
O heat, dry up my brains ! tears, seven times falt,
Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye !
By heav'n thy madness shall be paid with weight,
'Till our scale turn the beam. O rose of May!
the tyranny of the King, &c. Sbakespeare gives him nothing but ab.
furd and blafphemous sentiments : such as tend only to inspire the
audience with horror at the action. This conduct is exceeding nice.
Where, in his plays, a circumstance of rebellion is founded on hiftory,
or the agents of it infamous in their characters, there was no danger
in the representation : but as here, where the circumstance is fičtis
tious, and the agent honourable, he could not be too cautious. For
the jealousy of the two reigns, he wrote in, would not dispense with
less exactness.

Mr. Warburton.

Dear maid, kind fifter, sweet Opbelia!
O heav'ns, is't posible a young maid's wits
Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
Nature is fine in love ; and where 'tis fine, (62)
It sends fome precious instance of itself
After the thing it loves.
Oph. They bore him bare-fac'd on the bier,

And on bis grave reigns many a tear ;
Fare ye well, my dove !

(62) Nature is fine in love,) Mr. Pope seems puzzled at this pafago, and therefore in both his editions subjoins this conjecture. Perhaps, fays he,

Nature is fire in love, and where 'tis fire,
It sends fome precious incense of itself

After the thing it loves. I own, this conjecture to me imparts no satisfactory idea. Nature is supposid to be the fire, and to furnish the incense too: had love been suppos’d the fire, and nature feot out the incense, I should more jeadily have been reconcil'd to the sentiment. But no change in my opinion, is necessary to the text; I conceive that this might be the Poet's meaning.

" In the paffion of love, nature becomes more ex" quifite of sensation, is more delicate and refin'd; that is, natural 6 affe&tion, rais'd and sublim'd into a love-paffion, becomes more " inflamed and intense than usual ; and where it is so, as people in “ love generally send what they have of most value after their “ lovers; so poor Opbelia has sent her most precious fenses after the

object of her inflam'd affection.” If I mistake not, our Poet, has. play'd with this thought, of the powers being refind by the passion, in several other of his plays, His clown in As You Like it," seems. fenfible of this refinement; but, talking in his own way, interpret it a fort of frantickness.

We, that are true lovers, run into frange capers ; but as all is mortal in nature, fo is all nature in love mortal in folly.

Again, in Troilus and Cressida, the latter expresses herself concern. ing grief, exactly as Laertes does here of nature,

The grief is fine, full, perfect, that I tafte;
And in its sense is no less strong than that

Which causeth it. But Jago, in Othello, delivers himself much more dire&ly to the pure pose of the sentiment here before us.

Come hither, if thou bee'it valiant; as they say, base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to theme


rue for

Laer. Hadit thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge, It could not move thus.

Oph. You must fing, down a-down, and you call him a-down-a. O how the wheel becomes it! it is the false fteward that fole his master's daughter.

Laer. This nothing's more than matter.

Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there's panfies, that's for thoughts.

Laer. A document in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted. Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines; there's you, and here's some for me. We


call it herb of grace o' Sundays : you may wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father dy'd: they say, he made a good end;

For bony sweet Robin is all my joy.
Laer. Thought, and affliction, paffion, hell itself,
She turns to favour, and to prettiness.
Oph. And will be not come again ?

And will be not come again?
No, no, he is dead, go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as wbite as snow,
Al flaxen was his pole :
He is gone, he is gone, and we caft away mont,

Gramercy on his foul !
And of all christian souls! God b'w'ye. [Exit Ophi.
Laer. Do


see this, you Gods ! King. Laertes, I must commune with your grief, Or you deny me right: go but a-part, Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will, And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and

me ; If by direct or by collateral hand They find us touch'd, we will our Kingdom give, Our Crown, our life, and all that we call ours, To you in satisfaction. But if not, Be you content to lend your patience to us;


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